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Police Arrest Parolee for Armed Carjacking, Partner at Large

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By Jorge Casuso

February 17, 2023 -- A carjacking at a beach parking lot Thursday evening led to a police chase, a collision with multiple vehicles and a helicopter search for a suspect who remains at large, police said.

The incident began at around 7 p.m. when officers responded to an armed carjacking reported at beach Parking Lot 1 north of the Pier, according to police.

Jonathan Perez

The victim told the responding officers that two men approached her and "demanded the keys to her vehicle while one brandished a handgun," said Lt. Rudy Flores, the Police Department spokesman.

The victim complied and the suspects fled in her vehicle, a gray Ford Focus, Flores said.

After a description of the vehicle was broadcast to all assisting units, officers located the stolen Ford Focus on the eastbound I-10 Freeway.

They saw the passenger "jump out the vehicle before it continued east on the freeway," Flores said. "As the driver began to exit at Robertson, he collided into other vehicles."

The driver, Jonathan Manuel Perez, a 22-year-old parolee from Los Angeles, was taken into custody, and a replica firearm was found in the car, Flores said.

Perez was taken to Santa Monica Jail and booked for carjacking and violating several sections of the Vehicle Code. Officers also discovered Perez was on active parole for a prior armed carjacking.

A perimeter was set for the other suspect with LAPD assisting from a helicopter, but he was not found and remains at large, police said.

He is described as a Hispanic male of unknown age, wearing a black jacket, black pants and a dark face mask over his mouth.

Anyone with additional information pertaining on the outstanding suspect or the incident should call SMPD Detective Ismael Tavera at 310-458-2256 or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8426.

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